Support group liaising with Travellers after death at halting site


A support group in Kerry was yesterday liaising with Traveller families, the HSE, counselling and other agencies at the county’s biggest official halting site at Killarney following a death there over Christmas.

The eight-unit site at the St Michael’s Deerpark site off the Killarney bypass was yesterday largely unoccupied.

Kerry County Council, which oversees the implementation of the Traveller accommodation programme, confirmed it was considering the long-term closure of one chalet at the site.

A spokesman for the council yesterday said they believed a number of the families were travelling as they normally did and had not abandoned the chalets altogether. Possession had been confirmed to have been given up in two chalets.

Owen McCarthy of the Kerry Travellers’ health and community development project, said while some families had moved out to live with extended families for support, they believed the move was temporary

Director of Pavée Point Ronnie Fay said taboos or other factors surrounding accommodation of a dead person were long gone among Travellers and were no more prevalent than among settled communities. As such it was not surprising to hear if Traveller families had vacated accommodation after a tragic event – settled people too sometimes moved from an area after a death, Ms Fay said.